Check the store surveillance camera. In a battle of contested facts, store surveillance footage is often the "smoking gun" in a personal injury lawsuit. In one case, a plaintiff won a multi-million dollar lawsuit after proving the store destroyed surveillance tapes. If you can't find the footage itself, look for the sinister absence of it.
Determine the statute of limitations. The time limits to bring a case, called the "statute of limitations," are established by state law. It typically begins to toll when the plaintiff is injured or discovers the injury, but it often varies depending on the type of injury.
Prepare for the retail store's defenses. To fight your allegations, a retail store may claim the following defenses: no dangerous condition existed (or it was so obvious as to avoid), the store had no knowledge of it, the store took reasonable steps to fix it, you suffered no damages, the condition didn't cause your injury, or you were negligent and/or assumed the risk.
Ponder your settlement requirements. The vast majority of cases settle. If you receive a settlement offer, you and your lawyer will need to consider a number of factors before accepting or rejecting the offer. Be prepared: Think about your needs (and bottom-line) now.
With "Black Friday" around the corner, you may want to keep a close eye on your fingers and toes and have a personal injury attorney on speed-dial.